Baked shrimp with tomato, feta, and lemon-mint orzo
¾ cup orzo
1 or 2 shallots
Peeled fresh garlic
¾ pound Roma tomatoes
10 ounces wild Gulf shrimp
Fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
½ cup crumbled feta
Cook the orzo
Position an oven rack 7 to 8 inches from the heat source and heat the broiler.
Bring a medium sauce pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the orzo; cook until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.
While the water heats and the orzo cooks, prepare the gratin ingredients.
Prep the gratin ingredients
Peel and thinly slice the shallots.
Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
Cut away the core from each tomato; coarsely chop the tomatoes.
Rinse the shrimp, then drain on a paper-towel-lined plate and pat dry.
Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
Cook the tomatoes and shrimp
In a medium ovenproof frying pan over medium heat, warm 1 to 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, and as many chile flakes as you like; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shrimp, parsley, and ¼ cup pasta cooking water, adding more if the sauce is too thick. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat.
Broil the gratin
Scatter the feta over the shrimp; place the pan under the broiler. Broil until the shrimp are firm and cooked through and the feta is melted and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
While the gratin broils, finish the orzo.
Dress the orzo
Zest the lemon and juice half.
Strip the mint leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves. Set aside half for garnish.
In a medium bowl, combine the orzo, lemon zest and juice, and half the mint. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil, season to taste with salt, and toss to combine.
Transfer the orzo to individual bowls. Spoon the shrimp gratin on top. Garnish with the remaining mint and serve.
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 clove garlic, minced
In a shallow dish or bowl, combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper. Coat chicken breasts with flour mixture. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and brown chicken on all sides. Remove from skillet, and drain on paper towels.
In the same skillet, combine the tomatoes, water, brown sugar, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt, chili powder, mustard, celery seed, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and return chicken to skillet. Cover, and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is tender, no longer pink and juices run clear.
Grilled chicken and summer vegetables with yuca mash and chimichurri
¾ pound yuca root
¾ cup coconut milk
Chimichurri spice blend (cumin – sweet smoked paprika – granulated garlic)
Fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 or 3 red radishes
1 poblano chile
Two 6-ounce boneless skin-on chicken breasts
Cook the yuca mash
Peel the yuca; cut the yuca in half lengthwise, then into ¼-inch-thick half-moons.
In a small sauce pot, combine the yuca, coconut milk, and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until very tender, 13 to 15 minutes. Using a masher, fork, or the back of a spoon, lightly mash the yuca with the liquid just until coarse. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the yuca cooks, prepare the chimichurri and the vegetables.
Make the chimichurri
Set aside half the chimichurri spice blend for the chicken.
Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; finely chop the leaves.
Finely chop the cilantro.
Zest and juice the lime, keeping the zest and juice separate.
In a small bowl, stir together half the chimichurri spice blend with the parsley, cilantro, lime zest, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 to 3 teaspoons oil, and 1 tablespoon water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Prep and cook the vegetables
Trim the ends from the radishes, if desired; cut the radishes in half.
Cut the poblano in half lengthwise; remove the stem, ribs, and seeds. Wash your hands after handling.
In a medium bowl, toss the radishes, poblano, and scallions with 2 to 3 teaspoons oil; season with salt and pepper. In a large grill pan or frying pan over high heat, cook the radishes, poblano, and scallions until lightly browned and just tender, 2 to 4 minutes per side; the scallions may cook more quickly. Transfer the vegetables to a plate as they finish cooking; wipe out the pan. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop the poblano.
Prep and cook the chicken
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel; season with the remaining chimichurri spice blend, salt, and pepper.
In the same pan used for the vegetables, warm 2 to 3 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until the skin is well browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn and cook until the meat is firm and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer to a plate.
Transfer the yuca mash, grilled vegetables, and chicken to individual plates. Top with as much chimichurri as you like and serve.
Middle Eastern turkey kebabs with carrot-snap pea salad
10 ounces ground turkey
Fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kebab spice blend (baharat – sumac – cumin – coriander)
1 or 2 carrots
3 ounces sugar snap peas (optional)
Tahini dressing (tahini – fresh garlic – lemon juice – salt)
½ teaspoon sumac
¼ teaspoon Marash chile flakes (optional)
Make the turkey kebabs
Cut a small corner from the ground turkey packaging and drain off any excess liquid. Transfer to a plate and pat dry with a paper towel.
Coarsely chop the cilantro; set aside half for the salad.
Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves. Set aside half for the salad.
In a medium bowl, combine the ground turkey, half each of the cilantro and parsley, and the kebab spice blend. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix until just combined. Using wet hands, form the mixture into 4 ovals; thread each onto a wooden skewer.
Cook the kebabs
In a large grill pan or frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Working in batches if needed, add the kebabs and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add more oil between batches if needed. Transfer to a plate.
While the kebabs cook, make the salad.
Prepare the salad and garnish
Scrub or peel the carrots and trim off the tops; using a peeler, cut the carrots into thin ribbons.
If using, thinly slice the sugar snap peas lengthwise.
Cut the lemon into wedges for garnish.
In a medium bowl, stir together half the tahini dressing and 1 teaspoon oil. Set aside the remaining dressing for the kebabs.
To the bowl with the tahini dressing, add the carrots and, if using, the snap peas. Add the sumac and the remaining cilantro and parsley; toss well to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer the kebabs to individual plates, dollop with the remaining tahini dressing, and sprinkle with as much Marash chile as you like. Serve with the carrot-snap pea salad and lemon wedges on the side.